A lot of book people - all? - have a thing for the physical aspects of a book. Touch, design, layout, smell, feel - they all matter. They're all good. How you choose to display books is up to you. There are plenty of bookshelves in the world, and plenty of amazing, quirky, brilliant designs (you can see some great ones I found recently over on my tumblr - just scroll down a bit).
|Part of one of my own shelves, avec Gollum.|
When I lived in Japan, I had no books. Then I had a couple. Then over the years I got more and more, whether buying them in the few English bookshops I could find, or getting them over, one by one, from England. Eventually - happy day - I bought a bookshelf, and my bedroom was complete again.
Then I moved to the U.S. Moving is hard. Moving books? Harder. They're so flippin' heavy. And somehow two books are three times heavier than one book. How's that work? I don't know. Terry Pratchett does, I suspect, and it's probably quantum.
So I left a lot behind. I left a lot in England, too. It's sad. They're still there, waiting for a new friend to find them.
E-readers, then, can be an interesting topic. They make books cheaper, easier to carry, instantly accessible and quicker to publish. Great! And it is. I mean that. So where does all of that meet with the years and years and decades and centuries of people loving physical, real world books, and still wanting to own them?
I don't know. Sorry if you wanted an answer. I own a Kindle, and think it's brilliant. I have bookshelves, and think they're brilliant too. Probably they do two different things. When I move around, when I fly, when I suddenly want a book that I don't own yet - that's a Kindle moment. When I want to sit for hours in comfort and read and forget the world, forget everything that's not the story - that's a book moment.
There's never going to be a time when physical books go away. They're too ingrained in our culture. They're almost sacrosanct. Burning books is a powerful thing. Burning e-readers isn't quite that bad, yet (I'd be impressed, really, if anyone managed it).
So physical bookshelves, to store and keep physical books, are a great thing. I hope one day to be able to put a copy of EREN on mine. That'd be lovely.
What are your shelves like? Where do you keep your books?